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Relationships Alliance calls on NICE

Published in Press Releases on April 26th 2013

The Relationships Alliance has called on NICE to create a quality standard to support the development of strong and stable personal and social relationships.

The Alliance is a newly established consortium of four charities – OnePlusOne, Relate, Marriage Care and the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships – with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of strong and stable relationships as a basis for a thriving society.

It believes the capacity to sustain these relationships is profoundly important for mental and physical health and a quality standard on relationship health would help commissioners and providers of health and social care services fully support and develop people’s ability to manage relationship difficulties.

Research has consistently shown relationship distress is associated with increased levels of depression and anxiety, alcohol and substance misuse and poorer cardiovascular health. Conflict between parents can also lead to increased anxiety and depression in children, as well as deficits in their academic attainment.

Chris Sherwood from the Relationships Alliance, said: “We believe that relationship health is of such fundamental importance to health and wellbeing that it should be high on the list of standards NICE should be proposing to develop. There is much that can be done across health and social care and the development of a quality standard on relationship health would be instrumental in improving care in this area.

“While it is right that NICE is proposing to develop quality standards on areas as general as homelessness and social isolation, relationship distress also deserves the attention which the development of a specific NICE quality standard would undoubtedly confer upon it. After all, attending to, and enhancing, the quality of our relationships is a key but relatively overlooked aspect of care.”


Notes to editors:

For further information about this statement, or the work of the Relationships Alliance, please contact Richard Meier, Policy and Communications Manager, at the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, on 020 7380 1964; or Lynne Milford, Interim Press Officer, at One Plus One, on 020 7553 9530.

  1. The Relationship Alliance believes that strong and stable personal and social relationships are the basis of a thriving society.
  2. Relationship health is an essential part of the UK’s economic recovery – relationship breakdown will cost the UK £50 billion this year alone, an unsustainable figure.
  3. Good quality personal and social relationships are central to our health and wellbeing.
  4. Relationships are an important ‘social asset’ that is often ignored or undermined by public policy.

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